Physician Considerations

While there is no easy answer to the question "How much insurance is enough insurance?", we recommend periodically reviewing your hospital's current coverage, risk and risk tolerance to help you reach your answer. The following information is intended to assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and a number of the key factors worth considering as you determine to what degree your hospital is capable of bearing the risk and/or recovering from an unfavorable judgment, should there be one.


Specialty
  • Level of risk affiliated with your discipline, determined primarily by frequency and severity of claims in this area.

  • Do you perform procedures which have a higher likelihood of resulting in a high damage award should there be a claim?

Income
  • Earnings potential now and in the future.

  • Exposed assets

  • Second home, automobile, recreation vehicles, etc.

Personal financial responsibilities
  • Family obligations - how might your monthly budget, savings for child’s education, etc. be impacted?

  • Assets/retirement funds

  • Some retirement funds may not be subject to execution.

  • Do you perform procedures which have a higher likelihood of resulting in a high damage award should there be a claim?

Geographic location
  • Population density.

  • Provide care for high exposure groups such as pro-athletes, etc.?

Litigious community
  • Extensive media coverage on jury awards?

  • Active trial lawyers association or Plaintiffs' Bar?

Ability to handle stress
  • What is your “sleep factor?” – Do you worry excessively; have you experienced a claim/trial previously?

  • Do you perform procedures which have a higher likelihood of resulting in a high damage award should there be a claim?

  • Impact to reputation as a health care professional?

  • Family support.

Tort laws/caps
  • What does the current legislative landscape look like?

  • Are there any cases pending which could result in a change in the law or which could impact caps on non-economic damages?

Services available through insurance provider
  • Loss Prevention education and resources;

  • Practice Management services;

  • Litigation support programs;

  • Claims philosophy and services;

  • Advocacy efforts on the behalf of health care professionals.

Cost of the coverage
  • Affordability of additional insurance premiums.

  • Impact of malpractice settlements on future premiums.

The Basics of Medical Professional Liability Insurance can be a helpful resource as you consider purchasing coverage or when you have basic questions about your policy.